There are various reasons why it’s a good idea to stick with using four spaces instead of a tab character in Python code. I’m not going to rehash that particular flamewar inducing arguement here.
I like to use spaces to indent my Python code (and have set up Vim accordingly), but occasionally I have some old code (or other peoples code) which uses tab characters. Python tends to complain about files that mix up both tabs and spaces for indenting, so I need to make these files uniform.
Here’s a really simple way to replace tabs with four spaces using sed on the commandline:
sed 's/\\t/ /g' oldcode.py >newcode.py
This is really simple sed-101, but I’ve put it here just to remind myself it works.
UPDATE: I’ve discovered an easier way !
Simply using the vim command,
I can replace all tabs in the current text to match my vim tab settings, which in effect turns each tab to four spaces.
Some search and replace like:
would have also done it, but then you have to explicitly specify the four spaces.
For the record, here is my current ~/.vimrc file:
set guifont=LiberationMono :colorscheme murphyset expandtab set tabstop=4 set shiftwidth=4
In addition to the tabs-to-spaces stuff, there is also some font and color scheme stuff in there, since I prefer green text on a black background.